In a feat of extreme endurance, 20 operators from throughout the Air Force Special Operation Command (AFSOC) Special Tactics community will ruck an astounding 830 miles to honor their 20 Special Tactics brothers who have made the ultimate sacrifice since the War on Terror began in September 2001. The airmen will march from the Medina Annex, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Extreme physical toughness and stamina make up the core of all special operations forces (SOF). They provide the base upon which every other specialized capability is built.

The inspiration for the undertaking came after Staff Sergeant Dylan J. Elchin, a combat controller (CCT) assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in November 2018. Alongside Sergeant Elchin, two Special Forces operators—Captain Andrew Ross and Sergeant First Class Eric Emond from the 3rd Special Forces Group—and an infantryman, Sergeant Jason McClary, were killed by the blast.

The 20 operators will be divided into 10 teams of two Special Tactics airmen. The whole team will depart from the Medina Annex in the early morning hours of February 22 and plan to arrive at Hurlburt Field on the afternoon of March 4. Consequently, they have planned for a joint-aching 75-mile pace for the duration of the 11 days. However, after the first five miles, teams will rotate, each rucking 12 miles.